By engaging our employees, we’re focused on advancing sustainable solutions, building inclusive communities and developing tomorrow’s innovators. Volunteering supports these global citizenship priorities, improves the employee experience and advances the Dow ambition.
Globally, Dow has a vested interest in supporting and challenging employees to live out our ambition in the communities in which we live and work, and those around the world.
In 2020, we provided U.S. employees with paid time-off to vote through a new U.S. Civic Duty and Engagement Pay Policy, as well as the information and resources they needed to participate in the November presidential election. This policy included four hours of paid time-off for voting and other nonpartisan-related civic activities, and was supported by the Dow ACTs steering team as a way to promote advocacy among our employees.
In February 2021, we announced Dow’s first-ever Volunteer and ERG Participation Policy, which will allow Dow employees paid time-off to volunteer and engage in Employee Resource Group (ERG) activities. The policy will go into effect in the second half of 2021 and is designed to support and encourage employees to participate in ERGs and give back to our communities.
In 2020, the global pandemic required us to take extra precautions to ensure volunteer safety and protect the safety, health and well-being of our employees and our communities. This required agile approaches to delivering and cultivating in-person and remote engagement opportunities. Team Dow responded.
As Dow entered the final stretch of the 2020 U.S. election season, Dow encouraged employees to engage to ensure our voices are heard at all levels of government for the communities in which we live, while ensuring our culture, values and ambition are maintained. In addition to providing paid time-off for voting, Dow joined more than 100 other companies that are “100% in for Democracy” by becoming a member of the Civic Alliance. The Civic Alliance is a non-partisan group of businesses working together to build a future where everyone can vote, volunteer and participate in shaping the United States. Dow engaged employees in a number of ways, including encouraging employees to get involved in elections through activities such as volunteering as a poll worker on Election Day or joining non-partisan, peer-to-peer outreach programs.
Dow is committed to creating plastics for a circular economy; so, from design to disposal, the value of plastic is retained while eliminating the burden it places on the environment. As a part of this ongoing mission, Team Dow continued to mobilize through our #PullingOurWeight program. Launched in 2018, #PullingOurWeight is a series of global cleanups that encourage responsible waste management and plastic disposal.
Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 in 2020, our #PullingOurWeight program delivered:
Improvement manager Megan Clark played a key role in organizing #PullingOurWeight cleanups that collected more than a million pounds of debris after a historic flood hit her hometown of Sanford, Michigan. In May 2020, swollen floodwaters breached two local dams, causing devastating damage. When walking through the community with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers debris experts, Clark saw an entire home that had been swept into the river and described the amount of waste as “unbelievable.”
“I live in Sanford. When the dams broke, we had to evacuate. When we came back, I wanted to do everything I could to help out,” Clark said. “A #PullingOurWeight cleanup marries the ability of Dow to collect debris and waste and do it for a really high-need area.”
As rewarding as serving on a board is, it can be one of the most challenging volunteer assignments. Having the right expertise is important. Dow, in partnership with BoardSource, a recognized leader in nonprofit board leadership that supports, trains and educates nonprofit leaders from across the world, launched a new Certificate of Nonprofit Board Education for Team Dow in October 2020. Open to all Dow employees, this virtual resource is designed for those who want to learn how to leverage their unique skills to make a difference and be an effective and engaged nonprofit board member.
Doing good comes in many different forms. In 2020, great emphasis was placed on focused workplace giving campaigns that helped catalyze employee donations and put them to work in helping rebuild lives after disaster hit. Specifically, campaigns have been launched to support relief and resiliency efforts related to the Australia wildfires, the Beirut Port explosion, the 500-year flood in Michigan and COVID-19. In addition, employee donations helped improve education, financial stability and health in our North American communities in partnership with United Way Worldwide.
In 2021, we recognized Martin Luther King Jr. Day for the first time as an annual paid day off in the United States. Recognizing how service breaks down barriers by bringing diverse people together, we asked Team Dow to not just take time “off” but to take time “on” to give back to our communities. More than 800 Team Dow volunteers provided 2,700 hours of service through 34 in-person and remote opportunities. Collectively, these volunteers demonstrate our commitment to respond to racism and inequality, and help meet the needs of our underserved communities.
Team Dow volunteer activities included: